Bloggers – Turn Out Utah

Earlier today, before significant numbers of ballots had been counted, the news coming out of New Hampshire was that turnout was way up and some precincts were requesting more ballots. In response to that, JM Bell and Misty Fowler each suggested that we’d love to have that problem in Utah. The more I think about that the more I am convinced that not only would we love to have that “problem” but have four weeks to actively work to achieve that in our state.

I’ve suggested before that any election with high turnout is a good election. Let’s make this into such an election. Starting now, let’s light up the Utah Political Blogosphere with ideas and thoughts to inspire people to turn out and vote in the primary election. Misty has set a good example by posting reminders about registration deadlines and information about how to register. What else can we do to encourage people to participate?

People all around the country have wondered why Iowa and New Hampshire should have so much influence on our elections – let’s show that Utahns can be as politically involved as Iowans.

If you are interested in pushing for this let me know – share your ideas of how we can encourage people online and offline to get to the polls. If you don’t think that higher turnout is valuable, convince me that low turnout has any benefit to our state or our nation.

About David

David is the father of 8 extremely organized children (4 girls / 4 boys) who is constantly seeking answers to tough questions related to parenting, education and politics while moonlighting for 40 hours each week as a technology professional. He also enjoys cooking, gardening, and sports.
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11 Responses to Bloggers – Turn Out Utah

  1. I have to admit that I have wondered aoout the cost/benefit of a primary in this state. But, since I’m not registered with a political party and therefore can’t vote in either primary (isn’t that correct?), I admit that I haven’t been paying much attention to the primary issue. So maybe there’s more benefit to the state than I think. Actually, I suppose it’s the only time that Dems can make a difference, but given our state’s small numbers vs. the big Super Tuesday states, I’m not sure if that’s true, either. I don’t know. I’m not really knowledgeable on the issue.

  2. David says:

    I would say the benefit of a primary is that, despite our relative insignificance a a state, this is how government of the people works – through our participation. Only at the voting booth is every voter able to participate equally.

    As for your voting status – let me offer a correction. If you are registered to vote, but not registered with a party you would be listed as “unaffiliated.” Unaffiliated voters can vote in either primary although the Republican party requires that unaffiliated voters who want to vote in the republican party primary must affiliate with the republican party – which can be done at the polling location (essentially you sign a statement that you want to affiliate with the Republican party). basically, if an unaffiliated voter wants to vote in the Republican primary and remain unaffiliated they have to sign the statement when they vote and then take the time to change their affiliation back to “unaffiliated.”

    Am am unaffiliated and have not decided which primary to vote in yet, but I will be voting and I encourage you to vote as well. Even if you’re not registered yet you still have 12 days to get registered.

  3. Bill says:

    you can still vote as a democrat, even if you’re not registered with either party…. Unless something has changed. A few years ago, I maximized my voting capacity by registering as a republican… Funny, this year, in IDAHO, the republican primary is so late that it isn’t worth voting in, so I will only vote in the democratic caucus.

  4. David says:

    You can vote in either primary if you are unaffiliated. If you are registered as a Republican, Independent, constitution, or any other party besides “Democrat” or “unaffiliated” you can’t vote in the Democratic primary.

  5. Ya know, I think it is unfortunate that so much weight has been given to the opions of Iowans and/or New Hampshire citizens. What makes them any more special than the rest of us? I mean really. Interestingly, the Hillary Clinton campaign mentions the importance of Utah in the upcoming battle for the Democratic nomination.

    The question to all of us commited bloggers, is how do we not only engage people with the idea of voting, but with the idea of seriously studying the important issues that separate candidates.

    You and I may disagree on political philosophy, but I do think we agree that transparency and increased involvement from our fellow citizenry is a good thing. I appreciate you making that case.

    BTW, I noticed on my blog that I had misquoted the name of your blog as a link from my blog. I got that corrected.

    Best regards David.

  6. Bill says:

    I think that Iowa and New Hampshire get the attention by the tone they set. Why waiste your vote on Feb 5 if you’re voting for a cantidate that doesn’t have a snowball’s chance? Iowa proved, Hillary isn’t the only Democratic candidate to be taken seriously. New Hampshire proved she also wasn’t washed up.

    The precursor primaries in Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan, South Carolina, Florida, etc. Show tone. It also gives the rest of us a chance to see the candidates in a pinch. What do they do when their backed into a corner. I think it gives a chance to see a more accurate picture of their “inner ticker”.

    What I struggle with is when a low deligate state decides to hold the primaries when they can no longer offer much of a voice. It just gives you a chance to ratify or disagree, but the ability to effect change is lost.

  7. David says:

    Obi wan,

    We both agree very much about the importance of transparency. I also think you are right that getting out and casting a vote is not all we want from voters, but I think it is an important preliminary step for voters to take a few times before many of them will really feel like there is a reason to get more informed before they cast future votes.


    It almost sounded for a minute like you were in favor of living in a state where you could cast your vote later in the process. Most people fail to recognize that they can get involved and increase their political voice by voting with their wallet. Whether we like it or not, candidates will go to the places where people are willing to donate to their campaign. It won’t get the same attention as Iwa or New Hampshire, but it is a way that other states gan garner soe attention from the candidates early in the process.

  8. Bill says:

    You missed the point. It isn’t about getting a candidate to GO ANYWHERE. Its not even about the candidates themselves. It is answering the question you can’t ask the candidate and get a good answer.

    “Do I waiste my vote if I give it to you?”

    Early primaries allow voters in other states to see what substance there is to a candidate.

    My money is sufficient, nor is it my desire to attract Mitt Romney, Barak Obama, John McCain, or John Edwards to come to Idaho… Sorry, it wouldn’t happen anyway.

  9. David says:

    What defines a wasted vote?

    • Is it a waste of a vote if you vote for a candidate who does not win?
    • Is your vote wasted if the candidate disagrees with you?
    • Is it a waste unless the candidate is effective once they are elected?

    Getting the candidate by the purse strings – where they’ll listen – is how you have the chance to influence what issues they talk about. It forces them to deal with your positions and address your concerns. It seems to me that no matter how electable or effective a candidate proves to be – if you vote for someone who ignores you then you have wasted your vote.

  10. Bill says:

    Wouldn’t it be a waste to vote someone into office if there is not chance they can effect the change you’re looking for?

    Politicians don’t STOP listening when they’re voted in, they stop listening when there isn’t a reason to listen. The game isn’t over when election day is over. It isn’t even, “Okay, lets start looking at 2012”. Not at all. Mr(s). President elect has to keep listening until they leave office. That’s life and power in the political system.

  11. David says:

    I think you could call that a waste of a vote. The question is, do you really believe that in February 2008 you will be able to tell which candidate(s) will/would still be listening by the time February 2009 rolls around?

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